The Importance of Remembering

Joshua 4:4-7  Joshua did just as He instructed and summoned the twelve men, who had been chosen from the Israelites to represent the twelve tribes, to give them instructions. Joshua said, “Go back into the Jordan riverbed to the covenant chest of the Eternal your God, and each carry a stone upon your shoulder, (twelve stones for the twelve tribes of the Israelites) so that we may build a memorial of this day. Someday when your children ask you, ‘Why are these stones piled up here?’ you will tell them how the waters of the Jordan parted as the covenant chest of the Eternal One crossed the river, and these stones will fix that memory for the Israelites forever.”

The wife of a friend has advanced Alzheimer’s. She no longer recognizes her friends or family – even her husband of more than 50 years. She has no recollection of the quilt pieces that make up the pattern of her life. It’s so tragic.

photo by Eileen Sanda

Memory is crucial for us. God created us with the capacity to remember, and He taught Israel how to do something that we need to do in our own lives. Often in the Old Testament we see Israel build altars of remembrance so that they’d never forget how God helped them in situations that seemed impossible.

Whenever my stepson starts exhibiting the kind of behavior caused by his brain disorder, I try to remember how in the past God has answered my prayers for him in ways that could only be from God.

I build mental memorials.

Today is Memorial Day. It is all about remembering those who have sacrificed for what we enjoy today and about those loved ones who are already gone. I think we also should use this time to remember how God’s hand has been in our lives all along.

Don’t get mired down in all of the sometimes chaotic times living with a person who has a mental illness. Just remember how far God has brought you, and never forget that you can move on confident  in the knowledge that He will stay with you always.

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